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Exclusive: The Monkees Resolve Personal Issues for 45th Anniversary Tour

'I had a meltdown on the last tour,' says guitarist Peter Tork. 'I ticked the other guys off good and proper'

March 7, 2011 12:15 PM ET
Peter Tork, Davy Jones and Micky Dolenz of The Monkees pose during portrait session to announce the bands 45th anniversary tour held at The Groucho Club on February 21, 2011 in London, England.
Peter Tork, Davy Jones and Micky Dolenz of The Monkees pose during portrait session to announce the bands 45th anniversary tour held at The Groucho Club on February 21, 2011 in London, England.
Dave J Hogan/Getty

When The Monkees last hit the road together 10 years ago things didn't go so well. Guitarist Peter Tork quit near the end, later telling the press that Davy Jones and Micky Dolenz were drinking to the point that they became "mean and abusive." In 2009 Jones told the National Enquirer that he had no interest in a reunion, adding that he "couldn't imagine sharing a stage with Micky Dolenz."

So it came as surprise last week when they announced a 45th anniversary world tour. "It was the estimation of certain professional people that this could work," Tork tells Rolling Stone. "They asked if the three of us were interested in doing it. After some discussion we all said 'yeah.' That's just about the bottom line of it."

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In a significant shift, Tork now takes full responsibility for the backstage problems on the 2001 tour. "We were getting along pretty well until I had a meltdown," he says. "I ticked the other guys off good and proper and it was a serious mistake on my part. I was not in charge of myself to the best of my ability – the way I hope I have become since. I really just behaved inappropriately, honestly. I apologized to them."

He now says alcohol played only a small role in the group's problems. "I'm sure it played a part, but I cannot honestly say it was anything more than a very slight part," he says. "It could have been very, very minor. But the main thing was that I had a meltdown and I messed up."

With the personal problems resolved, the three remaining Monkees were able to sit down and plan their tour. "We're going to do all the Monkee hits," Tork says. "Starting with the five major ones: The two believers ['Daydream Believer' and 'I'm A Believer'], 'Last Train To Clarksville,' 'Pleasant Valley Sunday' and '(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone.' Then we'll do the top twenties and the top hundreds and then the obscure ones." Of the many deep cuts to draw from, Tork hopes to revive the a cappella song "Riu Chiu," and "As We Go Along" and "Porpoise Song" from the Head soundtrack.

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